Through two games, the Montreal Canadiens have been on the power play nine times, scoring on four attempts. The Boston Bruins haven’t scored with the man-advantage in five attempts.
That logic would seem to favor the Habs, who have done enough to draw the Bruins to the penalty box. Sure they’ve embellished on a handful of them – looking at you Alexi Emelin and PK Subban. But there has been some legitimate calls: Dougie Hamilton’s interference call in the third period of Game 2 and Matt Bartkowski’s holding call in double overtime that led to Subban’s game-winner, just to name a couple.
So, Montreal coach Michel Therrien should be satisfied with how his team is getting the benefit of the doubt, right? Well think again.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) May 5, 2014
Could this be a response to Claude Julien’s comments after the Bruins’ 5-3 comeback win in Game 2? A game where the Canadiens had six power plays? A game that Julien was called for a bench minor at the end of the second period?
For all they battled through, the Bruins overcame another bout of adversity. And Julien was blunt about the officiating and displayed some sarcasm when asked about the bench minor in his postgame press conference.
“The referee – I kind of told him that I didn’t agree with his calls,” Julien said to a round of laughter.
Historically, the Canadiens have always had the officials on their side. Things should be no different when the series shifts to the Bell Centre for Game 3 Tuesday night.
The Habs were sixth in the league in power play time during the 2013-14 regular season at 473:01. The Bruins, meanwhile, were dead last in that category and were the only team in the league with under 400 minutes of time spent on the man advantage (368:53).
The trends favor et Bleu Blanc Rouge, yet Therrien wants to find a way to get more time on the man advantage. Who can blame him? After all, they’ve had quite the success against the Black and Gold in the last two playoff series scoring 10 goals in nine games.
Somehow, the Bruins, who unquestionably have the advantage at even strength, need to stay out of the box. That is easier said than done at the Bell Centre when antics like this are called for penalties at TD Garden (GIF credit, @PeteBlackburn):